Recently, three of our team had the immense honor of representing Olympia Coffee Roasting and the Pacific Northwest overall at the United States Coffee Championships in Long Beach, California. Co-owner Sam Schroeder, Retail Trainer Brady MacDonald, and Downtown Coffee Bar Manager Alex Choppin qualified for this prestigious event by competing at the regional level in October. There, Alex placed Second in Brewer's Cup, Brady placed Second in Barista Championship, and Sam was crowned Northwest Barista Champion.
At the U.S. Coffee Championships Sam, Brady, and Alex all had strong showings in the semi-finals round of each competition. Brady's routine focused on ingredients from the Puget Sound community coming together with coffee made by a community in San Sebastian de la Plata in Huila, Colombia, with whom we've been proud partners for years. It was a beautiful and thoughtful exploration of his progressive ideas about food, community, and coffee. Unfortunately, his routine went over by just two seconds, disqualifying him from the finals round. You can look forward to enjoying this coffee later this year.
Brady serving cappuccinos to his sensory judges, photo by sprudge
Alex, in Brewer's Cup, presented a theory on clarity and how it can be provided at several levels in order to create a better experience for customers. He brewed coffee using the same equipment we use at our Downtown and Capitol Boulevard Coffee Bars. Alex made finals for Brewer's Cup as a result.
Alex brews with the Kalita to take 5th in place in the United States Brewer's Cup
Sam's Barista Championship routine focused on three communities: the Ademegorbota cooperative in Ethiopia, our roasting team in Olympia, and the cafe community as represented by the relationship between the barista and consumer. He prepared a Signature Beverage using black tea and lemon-infused drinking custard paired with Ademegorbota espresso. The result is a phenomenally tasty drink which will be available in our Downtown Coffee Bar later this year. Sam received the top score in semi-finals, advancing to the finals round.
Sam's signature drink, photo by sprudge
After a long day filled with incredibly talented coffee professionals from across the country, Alex placed Fifth in the nation in Brewer's Cup. Sam placed Third in the United States Barista Championship!
Sam excited to receive the third in the United States Barista Competition
All of us at Olympia Coffee are so proud of Brady, Alex, and Sam's achievements! It was an honor to have two of the baristas from our small company in the top six in in the nation for both the Brewer's Cup and the Barista Competition.
You can watch each of our competitors and learn more about United States Coffee Championships at www.uscoffeechampionships.org